Novak Djokovic has majority stake in a Danish biotech firm which is working on developing a treatment for Covid-19 that does not involve vaccination, it has been revealed. CEO Ivan Loncarevic, who described himself as an entrepreneur, told Reuters that the investment was made by Djokovic in June 2020 but declined to say how much it was.
However, the Serbian tennis star is believed to hold 80 percent stake in the company. The news comes just days after the World No. 1 tennis star was deported from Australia after the government cancelled his visa in a dispute over a medical exemption relating to his unvaccinated status.
Djokovic reportedly holds 80 percent stake in the Danish biotech firm QuantBioRes, which was made in June 2020. The Serb has been vocal in his opposition to jabs but appears to be actively believe in Covid-19 treatment without the need of a needle.
QuantBioRes has around 11 researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia, according to Loncarevic, who stressed they were working on a treatment, not a vaccine. According to Loncarevic, QuantBioRes is developing a peptide, which obstructs the Covid-19 virus from infecting the human cell. The company plans to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer.
The company's website says it started developing a "deactivation mechanism" for Covid-19 in July 2020. Loncarevic subsequently told the Financial Times that he had not spoken to Djokovic, who has won more than $150m in prize money, since November and that the tennis star was "not anti-vax".
The tennis ace has stoked global debate about the rights of people who opt not to get vaccinated. He has time and again voiced his opinion against getting vaccinated. He is one of the few sporting stars to have been competing at international events without even getting jabbed.
However, he finally faced a roadblock after he was barred form competing at the Australian Open last week. Djokovic's visa was cancelled on arrival to Australia on "health and good order grounds", with there being a furore over Djokovic not being vaccinated.
He was finally deported from Australia on Sunday after losing a legal challenge to overturn the cancellation of his visa by Alex Hawke, the country's immigration minister, who said Djokovic's presence in Australia might risk "civil unrest" as he was a "talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment".
The World No.1 is now back in Serbia. Also, it is not clear if he will be able to defend his French Open crown, after France ruled that all participants in sport must be vaccinated against Covid-19.